Sailor Moon’s take on dance and feminism
Was the animated Japanese TV series 'Sailor Moon' the earliest instance in which female millennial viewers first came to see what being a real superheroine- rooted in spirituality, art and feminism- can look like?
Despite its immense global popularity since the early 1990s, and its target audience mainly being young girls, the show has not been given as much credit as it deserves for its interesting take on feminism; or for the mesmerizing way in which it standardized a dance routine as a way for girls to "transform" into strong and authentic young women; almost as if to say that art could be the path to spirituality, self-actualization and individuality.
The beauty of the magical transformations would create a magnetic pull on its audience, while the youthful antics of Usagi Tsukino, the protagonist, would calm, reassure and validate. For a change, a protagonist had permission from its makers to be a clumsy, 'average' klutz who was constantly being told off or teased; someone who could be angered, irritated, or made to cry easily, at any time; automatically making even its young TV audience feel rather (emotionally) put together.
The transformation of Usagi into #SailorMoon (and of her friends into Sailor Warriors) was, in retrospect, a dance: they would look perfectly poised as their bodies would lift into the air. They would enter a deep, meditative state akin to spiritual Goddesses as their long hair swirled around them, and they would be armed one by one. It was a romantic, feminine ideal that girls could look up to; one that also did not need saving from anyone- except by the uniquely placed #TuxedoMask.
In times of #MeToo, some seem to have interpreted feminism as compulsive male-bashing (e.g. see phenomenal on Instagram), or bashing any idea that hints at feminine ideals. But what if females are supposed to realize their unique powers, whatever they are, as Sailor Moon did, while accepting that one may be perfectly powerless at times; and it could be a man who steps up to move something forward?
And that it would not make a female any less of a feminist, independent, purposeful superhero?